SUNDAY BALLEW

"There's no more beautiful city in the world, provided it's seen by night and at a distance." - Roman Polanski


I was born in Los Angeles and spent my first three years in the lush hills of South Pasadena. My family left for Austin, Texas soon thereafter and since that shift in scenery and culture, I have retained an unshakable inner landscape of the city – it’s man-made elements and geometries, the natural aspects of its geography, and how all of this together is perceived.  

In 2019, a local friend helped reacquaint me to this place (that seems both distant and familiar), as we zigzagged the broad spaces of the city by car, the seeds of this project began to grow.

Since that trip, I have been exploring the city’s mediated landscapes, delving into its rich lore and cinematic mythologies, and scouring era-specific family snapshots, ephemera, and stories. With this, real and imaginative spaces have begun to emerge.

1969, Echo Park, Los Angeles, January 2020 - Music by Michael Ballew and Red Wilder Blue, Copyright '73

As I've been collecting video, interviews and 35mm film shots, I have started to contextualize stories, reconstruct timelines and shake free forgotten memories that, like rediscovered photographs, have surfaced as iconic systems of dreams and memory.

I am also noticing many beautiful arcs of personal and collective memory — in and of this city — and how these seemingly disparate lines, moving like waves of sine and cosine, have their moments of connection. 

Throughout this process, I have begun to understand certain life trajectories, and also to witness the symbiotic (and influential) relationship of memory and perception, and how this contributes to the dreams, imagination and reality of an individual.

images> Carole Ballew: (L) given to me in 2020 from Jerylie, a family friend / (R) from my mom's photo collection 

The colorful backdrop to this project is a tapestry of stories filled with young artists (my mother was a sculptor/ceramicist and my father a rock musician), their connections, and the Los Angeles creative scene of the late 1960’s and early ‘70’s.

This project is a work in progress and I will update the site as the work evolves.

Using Format